Automakers are scrambling to comply with ever tightening CAFE mileage requirements. Most have adopted new powertrains favoring turbocharged fours and sixes over thirsty V8s, or have increased hybrid vehicle offerings across their product line.
Mazda, late to the party, appears to be scrambling to boost fuel economy across their product range. Their first step was to introduce a normally aspirated four cylinder motor as an option for buyers of CX-7 crossovers. On the table is the introduction of Mazda’s Sky-D four cylinder turbo diesel motor in the CX-7, which makes good sense to me. The Sky-D, not yet in production, will produce about 200 horsepower but around 300 ft-lbs of torque. The motor would be mated to Mazda’s Sky-Drive six speed automatic transmission to further maximize fuel economy.
I’ve driven the CX-7 with the current turbocharged four, and it always seemed like a bizarre choice of motor to me. Why shoehorn a high strung, turbocharged motor better suited to the Miata into a crossover / minivan? A turbo diesel makes more sense in both drivability and fuel mileage, so here’s hoping that the rumors prove to be true.
Source: Left Lane News